The Instigator
RoyLatham
Pro (for)
Winning
18 Points
The Contender
judopop1
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

The United States should build and maintain a border fence

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
RoyLatham
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/22/2011 Category: Politics
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 4,365 times Debate No: 16257
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (41)
Votes (3)

 

RoyLatham

Pro

The Resolution

A border fence should be one of the mechanism used to control immigration and the flow of goods over U.S. borders. There are already border fences in place and they should be maintained. Border fences should be extended as needed to aid border security. This should include a 700 mile double fence on the US border with Mexico.

A border fence is not needed everywhere. There are natural obstacles in some places and in other places there are less expensive enforcement techniques. The fundamental contention is that border fences are a cost-effective part of border enforcement.

The context of this debate is the present day United States. For this debate, there is no distinction between a "fence" and a "wall." We are talking about structural barriers.

1. Border Security is Needed

Border security is needed:

1.1. To control immigration-related benefit costs. Under the Constitution government benefits must be provided to every resident of the United States, whether legal or illegal. For example, anyone can go to a hospital emergency room and receive free medical care. Children may attend public schools and receive educational benefits without regard to citizenship. Even when times are tough in the United States, job opportunities are better than in poor countries. Immigration costs taxpayers an estimated $113 B, and in some states like Texas, the costs exceed budget deficits. [2] Without border security, the U.S. would be flooded with illegal immigrants, destroying the economy.

1.2. For health and safety. The U.S. controls what can be imported into the United States so as to exclude unsafe food products, lead-based paints and ceramics. It regulates trucks and aircraft for safety. It forbids travel from places suffering outbreaks of communicable diseases.

1.3. To protect against crime and terrorism. Watch lists are applied. There are visa restrictions that examine the suitability of immigrants from dangerous places in the world. Human trafficking is prohibited. "Human trafficking is the third-largest global criminal enterprise, exceeded only by drug and arms trafficking, … By some estimates, the industry is growing, and the [worldwide] illegitimate gain from the industry is as high as $32 billion per year." [1]

California currently houses 19,000 illegals in its prison system, convicted of non-immigration crimes, comprising about 20% of it's $11 billion corrections budget. 17% in Federal prisons are illegal. [6, 7] Additionally, the crimes they committed extracted significant financial and emotional costs on their victims.

1.4. To prohibit contraband. Recreational drugs are part of this, but there are also prohibitions on prescription drugs. Unregulated use of antibiotics, for example, poses a public health risk by facilitating the development of drug resistant strains. Endangered species and products derived from endangered species are prohibited. Fake prescription drugs, fake aircraft parts, fake luxury goods, and illegal use of intellectual property.

1.5. To reduce illegal arms exports. Fences work both ways, so a border fence will help control export of weapons to drug lords and other unauthorized consumers.

1.6. To collect taxes. Even if narcotics and other drugs were legalized, the US would still want to collect taxes on them. Judging from the "sin" taxes on alcohol and tobacco, the taxes would be steep, and well worth avoiding.

2. A border fence is effective

2.1 Most of the fence the US has built along the Mexican Border is ineffective because it can be easily traversed by climbing over it without a ladder or punching a hole thorough it. However, effective border fencing has been developed and proven. Effective fencing comprises two reinforced fences with a patrol road between them. Congress authorized building 700 miles of such fence, but only 32 miles have been built. [3]

The effectiveness of the fencing is proved in San Diego where a double fence cut illegal apprehensions by 79%, even though the protected segment was only 11.8 miles long and illegals could go around the short piece. [4] The fenced area itself is 95% effective. [10]

The double fencing consists of two steel walls 15 feet high and 100 yards apart. Sensors placed between the walls, including cameras, detect intruders. [5] Additional obstacles may be included between the walls, such as barbed wire. The contained access road allows the Border Patrol to rush to an intrusion site before the intruders can traverse the second fence. One design features three rows of closely-spaced four-inch-diameter steel pipes filled with concrete and set in a reinforced concrete foundation. Other designs use welded steel walls.

Fencing less effective than the proposed double fence reduced illegal crossings by 94% in the Yuma district. A 1.5 mile strip of even-more secure triple fencing is described as "impenetrable." [9]

2.2 While most of the existing fencing is ineffective at keeping people from crossing the border, it is effective at preventing vehicle crossing. A vehicle barrier constructed on the ecologically sensitive border of Organ Pipe Nation Monument reduced crossings to nearly zero. [11]

2.3 The cost of double fence varies between $3.8 million and $10 million per mile. [5] 700 miles of the fence would cost between $2.6 B and $7 B. The 2011 budget for the Department of Homeland Security is $56. billion. However, a fence would last for many years, say 25 years, so the amortized construction cost would be about $ 0.2 B. Maintenance costs might double that, so $ 0.4 billion per year is a reasonable cost estimate. That's a trivial part of the Homeland Security budget, and it would be repaid if it it reduced illegal immigration costs by even a half percent.

In Israel, a 500 mile high security fence was constructed in 2003 to deter terrorism. "Pursuant to the security fence's "sole purpose of saving lives of innocent citizens who continue to be targeted by the terrorist campaign that began in 2000," there has been more than a 70 percent drop in the number of fatal casualties – … Israel is paying about $3.7 million per mile for its fence – which includes all the techno-sensors and monitors that go with it - and the castle-like structures - once all of the engineering, construction, and operational costs are calculated." [8] Terrorists, willing to die in suicide bombing, are considerably more determined than either ordinary illegal immigrants or drug smugglers, yet their fence is effective.

100% effectiveness is neither expected nor required. The goal of a border fence is deterrence. No border security measure is 100% effective, yet most nations have some border security. The goal is to reduce the costs to society of uncontrolled borders. The cost of border fence would easily be repaid even if the reduction were a small percentage.

The resolution is affirmed.

[1] http://www.payvand.com...
[2] http://www.foxnews.com...
[3] http://www.infowars.com...
[4] http://www.jimdemint.com...
[5] http://www.globalsecurity.org...
[6] http://www.california-criminal-law.com...
[7] http://archive.newsmax.com...
[8] http://www.hstoday.us...
[9] http://www.csmonitor.com... Note the article incorrectly calculates the drop as 72%.
[10] http://www.npr.org...
[11] http://www.defenders.org...
judopop1

Con

I thanks my opponent for this debate.

My opponent has failed to give a definition so I will.
Border Fence: An Obstacle that prevents one from passing
Maintain: Make sure something doesn't break

Also he has not provided a clear Plan so the right shifts to me to define what this resolution suggest.

His Plan- Do build fences around every border the US has including the border between Canada and the US (note you MUST follow this because you did not state your plan in the first speech). Additionally the resolution does not require patrols to protect the barriers.

I shall now refute.

1) Border Security is needed-

1.1 My opponent states that it is unfair to the real citizens of America that these illegal immigrants are allowed to come to this country and steal our benefits.

But I ask you sir, what will creating a fence without borders do to protect our country. This resolution only creates a barrier that can easily be jumped over.

1.2 It will prevent the smuggling of bad products into our country.

I once again ask, what will this unguarded barrier do?

1.3 To protect our country from terrorism...

I feel like I am getting repetitive, what will a fence do to stop criminal masterminds from coming into our country?

1.4 My opponent wishes to prevent the fake importing of products..

Other than the fact that a fence will not prevent it, I ask my opponent to provide instances of these goods coming into our country.

1.5 To reduce illegal arms being exported.

This fence does not prevent Crime Lords from exporting goods because it is unguarded. Additionally I would like to see some evidence of crime lords exporting guns along the border.

1.6 I do not understand this argument. Are you suggesting that building this fence would be an excuse for the US to collect taxes? That is completely immoral and unfair to our people.

2) A border fence is effective

2.1 There are MUCH cheaper ways to prevent an illegal immigrant from entering our country and staying such as abolishing birth right citizenship and placing land mines across the border. If price is what your worried about.

2.2 "Can prevent vehicles from crossing" I do not believe there are many illegal immigrants who drive into the US and if there is an exact number please state a source.

2.3 "In Israel a 500 mile high secruity fence was constructed" WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT 500 MILES HIGH!?!?! My opponent is CLEARLY using false sources, this argument does not stand without evidence.

In refutation to that I would like to ask where these funds would come from, Republicans are taking away funds from everything to start gaining money and would never let a grant costing so much money pass through the house.
Debate Round No. 1
RoyLatham

Pro

The Resolution

Con claims I did not define "border fence." I defined "border fence" in paragraph 3, and in more detail in 2.1. There is no need to define terms if they are used with the standard meanings in the dictionary, as all other terms in the debate are used. "Maintain" means to either prevent failures or to repair damage.


The plan was stated in paragraph 2. The plan specifically includes the 700 mile stretch on the Mexican border. Negating the resolution requires that we should not build or maintain a fence anywhere, so Con must address that specifically. There are already patrolling of the border, so there is no need to propose to do that. Since the fencing is extremely effective, the requirement for personnel is likely to be reduced.

1. Need for border security


1.1 Con asserts that "the resolution only requires a a barrier that can be jumped over." The need for border security is established in 1 and the effectiveness of a fence in 2. Con did not contest the need for border security for the economic reasons cited. The characteristics of the fence are in 2.1.

1.2 Con does not contest that border security is needed to prevent the smuggling of unsafe products.

1.3 Con is indeed getting repetitive. He is consistently granting the need for border security. He grants the need for border security to prevent terrorism.

1.4 Con requests evidence that fake products are smuggled in. Fake products include cigarettes having high cadmium contamination, unsafe automobile parts, unreliable condoms, and many other categories. [12] http://www.authenticsfoundation.org... Con does not contest that border security is needed to protect again smuggling drugs and the other classes of products cited.

1.5 Con wants evidence of gun running. For example, a huge cache of weapons and ammo headed to Mexico was seized near the border in Texas. [12] http://www.aolnews.com...

1.6 The argument is that border security is needed to collect taxes on imports. Without border security, goods would not be declared and the taxes lost. The are large sums involved. "import tariffs are the second largest source of revenue next to the IRS." [15] http://www.itintl.com...

The previous arguments establish the need for border security. Con did not contest most of the reasons.

2. Effectiveness of the border fence

2.1 Con proposes that abolishing birthright citizenship and putting land mines on the border would be cheaper than a border fence. Abolishing birthright citizenship would deter few people from entering the United States. The costs would not be effected because the Constitution requires that all benefits be given to residents, whether they are legal or not. For example, children are given schooling whether or not they are citizens. All emergency room health care and most other care must be provided. [16] http://www.ucilmsa.org...(Kaman).ppt It would have no effect at all on reasons 2-6 for border security given in 1 above, and largely uncontested by Con.

Land mines should not be used on the borders because entering the United States illegally is not a capital crime. Using land mines is therefore excessive and inhumane. It would make enemies of Mexico and the countries in Central America. It would harm international relations in general. The US has not signed a treaty to ban landmines, but clearly it is an important issue that would produce a very negative international reaction. [13] http://articles.cnn.com...

I would not necessarily be cheaper. At minimum, there would have to be fencing to keep citizens out of the area. The mines would have to be cleared and replaced over time, which is an expensive proposition. [13] says that the US has spent $1.5 billion clearing landmines in other countries. A border minefield would be huge and very expensive to clear and restore as the mines failed due to age.

2.2 Con states he does not believe illegals drive across the border. It's both illegal entrants and contraband. I provided [11] as the source. Last month, "Half a million dollars worth of marijuana was seized from smugglers who used a portable truck ramp to illegally enter the U.S. from Mexico early Thursday morning." [14] http://borderwallinthenews.blogspot.com... Obviously, the short fence was not the high-security type of the resolution.

2.3 If in fact Con could not figure out that the Israeli fence is 500 miles of high-security fence, he could have simply looked at the reference that describes it in detail. Con said I provided false sources, when the sources are properly referenced and valid. Con's unsupported accusation is a conduct violation in this debate.

The money to build the fence would come from taxes, but the effectiveness is such that more taxes would be saved than spent. Republicans already authorized the money to build the fence, so there is no question of them making the appropriation. [14] http://borderwallinthenews.blogspot.com... I challenge Con to provide evidence that Congressional authorization could be obtained to put land mines on the border as he suggests as an alternative.

Summary

The US needs border security. Con has contested very little of the need. His minor objections were calls for more sources, which I provided. The border fence of the type proposed by the resolution is proven effective in multiple cases. Con did not properly contest any of my sources, he simply declared them false without any evidence to support his accusation. The economics are clearly favorable, since even a few percent reduction in illegal activity saves more than the cost.

Con's alternative of using landmines is unjust and inhumane, unacceptable for its foreign policy impact, and not even clearly less expensive.

The resolution is affirmed.

judopop1

Con

judopop1 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
RoyLatham

Pro

My opponent was last seen running for the border.

Arguments are continued.
judopop1

Con

judopop1 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
41 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by RoyLatham 2 years ago
RoyLatham
Land mines do work, as North Korea has proved. The argument against it is that sneaking across the border is not a capital crime, so it's not appropriate to use a death threat to deter it. I don't think it's necessary. A regular double fence works well enough.
Posted by cheyennebodie 2 years ago
cheyennebodie
If I were president. I would build two fences 200 yards apart. Then plant mines all along it. That would do the trick.
Posted by RoyLatham 5 years ago
RoyLatham
If a serious debater wants to argue against the border fence, let me know and I'll send the challenge.

Last week, Obama aid that the fence had been completed and everything short of a moat with alligators had been built. The government actually built a single fence having convenient handholds so it can be climbed by a fit person without a ladder. However, the fence also has frequent large gaps in it, so "property owners can access their property." This also allows wheelchair access, which is thoughtful.
Posted by SuperRobotWars 5 years ago
SuperRobotWars
Guess I am the only voter . . .
Posted by Sieben 6 years ago
Sieben
I actually did give a reason why we'd have low overhead. The fact that WW voting is very very simple. ALL we have to do is nominate people we trust, and ALL they have to do is find someone they trust to serve as our third.

Then they have weeks and weeks to come to a decision. Your complaints about real life coming up are totally unfounded. There is a much better chance that real life will negatively influence the debaters since they are on repeated 3 day time limits.

The system itself is trivial, but it is not FAST to test because I actually have to do a full debate. A full debate takes at least a week.

To your second point, you're referencing the problem of bilateral monopoly. But we already have this problem right now between us since we need to both agree on a voting paradigm in the first place. AT WORST, WW voting puts off the problem of bilateral monopoly to third parties. This is preferable because it at least guarantees a debate.

Your point that it might not be an improvement is possibly true, but if we want it mitigated we can just pick people who aren't total jackasses to represent us. You also have no reason to be afraid of the bad outcome because its just the arbitrary default we have now. You're throwing away the chance to a fair debate for no reason. Like I keep saying, its a win-breakeven proposition to you.

Your third point is basically the same "what if" problem.

Your fourth point is a performative contradiction because you are currently discussing the voting process. If you are really so averse you should just concede to whatever voting system I want in order to get to the debating faster.

Fifth, you don't know what a metaphor is. Your attempt to capitalize by intentionally misinterpreting my choice of words is pathetic.

And don't patronize me. You've proven yourself totally incompetent in every single one of our discussions. You will always run away. You're talking trash because it costs you nothing. Enjoy your win again
Posted by RoyLatham 6 years ago
RoyLatham
@Sieben, OK, I guess it is worth some more discussion of your WW voting system.

The reason I gave is that there would be a high overhead in the voting system. You just claimed that it would not be the case, but you provided no evidence to support your opinion. Good evidence should be easy to obtain, since you claim it would be trivial to get judges to sign up and carry out the system. If it's trivial, clearly you should have been able to accomplish it, not just once but repeatedly. Since you've never gotten it to happen, the idea that it's trivial is unsupported.

Second, it attempts to put the burden of fairness on one person, the judge picked indirectly. To have a chance to win the debate, each of us must seek a judge we think will be as favorable to our arguments as possible. The outcome then depends upon whether the judge I pick is better at wrangling a favorable "compromise judge" than the judge you pick. That's a roll of the dice, and not an improvement over just letting people vote.

Third, the deal just ensures that three vote bombs into the voting pool. If the vote bombs appear unfair to average voters, they will likely be cancelled by ordinary voters incensed by the unfairness who vote bomb to counter the unfairness. It works only when there are very few voters.

Fourth, the whole voting process becomes a separate issue. Do we want to fish or cut bait? I say we should debate, not talk about the process of debate. If you are unwilling to risk the outcome, then pick another topic or another debater, or whatever makes you happy. No problem.

Fifth, your threat of violence against me shows you have a serious hangup of some kind. I hope you work that out, but I'm not up to being a therapist.

I won't comment on my present opponent until the debate is over, but I'm glad he stepped up and took the challenge.
Posted by baggins 6 years ago
baggins
Excellent case from Pro. This is the way I hope I would be to debate eventually ...
Posted by Sieben 6 years ago
Sieben
A personal attack because it is likely true. Mine is a no-risk proposition. Either WW voting works and we get a fair debate, or it fails and we get what you have right now. You did not rebut this. Why not?
Posted by RoyLatham 6 years ago
RoyLatham
A personal attack because I will not chance the debate rules to suit you. Got it.
Posted by RoyLatham 6 years ago
RoyLatham
Seiben, simply give your experience with your new voting scheme. Oh, and certainly do not accept any debates without it, because clearly you cannot live within the rules set up by the site.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by baggins 5 years ago
baggins
RoyLathamjudopop1Tied
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro developed excellent argument. Con loses conduct point by forfeiting.
Vote Placed by quarterexchange 5 years ago
quarterexchange
RoyLathamjudopop1Tied
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: obvious
Vote Placed by SuperRobotWars 5 years ago
SuperRobotWars
RoyLathamjudopop1Tied
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Self explanatory, Con loses conduct for forfeiting, Con didn't post any sources, Pro refuted all of Cons arguments. I may be against the border fence but seriously this all goes to Pro.